Health MEC admits to laundry neglect

2012-09-14 18:01

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo admitted on Friday that his department had neglected the laundry services at provincial hospitals.

"In terms of maintenance support and laundry services we have not been where we should be. The money was spent elsewhere," Dhlomo said.

He was speaking at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, after reports of a shortage of linen at provincial hospitals.

On Monday the Mercury newspaper reported that all provincial hospitals were battling to get clean operating theatre linen because the provincial health department's largest laundry, at Sea Cow Lake in Durban, had broken down.

Doctors at Addington Hospital in Durban reportedly threatened to close down operating theatres if the health department did not act to provide clean linen.

"When there are pressing issues in any department you tend to focus on things that are pressing; there are more than 1.7 million people living with HIV in the country and over a third of them are receiving anti-retroviral treatment in the province," Dhlomo said.

The four laundry centres in KwaZulu-Natal included Prince Mshiyeni Memorial hospital, Dundee, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital and Sea Cow Lake.


Dhlomo said the centre at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital was huge and would be provided with maintenance so that it could sustain services to all institutions.

The centre at Inkosi Albert Luthuli was also functioning well, he said.

"Sea Cow Lake is well over 35 years old and will need a huge revamp; in the meantime all institutions will be given a small machine to use," Dhlomo said.

He said this was to allow essential and critical laundry used in operating theatres to be washed.

"If there is any hospital that is unable to do operations, it will be out of choice. The machines at Sea Cow Lake and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital are adequate to wash linen used in theatres," Dhlomo said.

He said there could be delays but the department would work on them.

"I cannot guarantee that the linen will not run out of stock, but there should be no hospital that should not carry out an operation; if they do so, they are doing it out of poor management," Dhlomo said.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-09-14 18:14

    The fellow you should resign

      godfrey.welman - 2012-09-14 18:41

      LOL..2 day ago they denied this.

      Squeegee - 2012-09-14 18:45

      Either he was lying yesterday or he was uninformed - either should be enough grounds for his resignation...

      AmbercrestBB - 2012-09-14 19:04

      He should be fired!

      mark.richardson.3914207 - 2012-09-14 19:22

      money should be placed where it is needed, Dhlomo says. so why waste it on anti retroviral treatement when it is still spreading, why dont you use the ANC flag ship health ministers recomendation of Beetroot or better still you wont need sheets if you do what the head terrorist does and that is shower.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-14 20:26

      I must be psychic or maybe it's just that I can see right through the cANCer scum. Note the date of this comment: irene.buthelezi.1 - September 12, 2012 at 18:15 Report commentComments Policy Oh how typical of cANCer. They'd be on fire and still deny that they're feeling warm! ENOUGH WITH THE LIES AND CONTINUAL DENIALS YOU INCOMPETENT FOOLS. 90 Reply to irene.buthelezi.1 | 2 comments (hide) | Delete

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-14 20:57

      He should be boiled, steamed, pressed and ironed

      goyougoodthing - 2012-09-15 08:08

      Was the money laundered?

  • lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-14 18:17

    Hmm, finally someone admitting responsibility. However, not all 1.7 million HIV+ people are in hospitals needing beds and/surgery, so this explanation is unsatisfactory.

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-09-14 18:44

      Where do you see someone admitting responsibility? I see an admission that there is a problem, but nobody is taking the blame. If they did, it would be a first.

  • lesetjavictor.maloka - 2012-09-14 18:17

    not committed to their work, hence our country is falling into pieces..

      roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-09-14 18:45

      It's not just committment but corruption too. "The money was spent somewhere else" do you miss the need for cleanleness, a hospitals absolute minimum requirement, and spend the money else where? I'll tell you our dishonourable leaders back pockets, that's where!

  • dave.leverton - 2012-09-14 18:22

    Not a problem for our govt - they all go to private hospitals where there is plenty of clean linen.

  • likeitis.insa - 2012-09-14 18:33

    there are more pressing issues- laudry and pressing....

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-14 19:02

    Does this guy understand the meaning of "health services",that people actually go to hospital to be cured,not catch diseases from dirty bedding!!!!??? He should be fired and sued! Shocking-I bet his family wouldnt go to any of those facilities!

  • AmbercrestBB - 2012-09-14 19:03

    Let's make it clear that the facilities at Albert Luthuli hospital are being maintained by Drake & Scull Sacilities Management Services and that is the only reason that they are working. Anything run by the department is a mess!

  • antin.herrinck - 2012-09-14 19:06

    When I saw this headline I had visions of Dhlomo in very soiled underwear.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-09-14 19:18

      lol ye something similar came to my mind

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-14 19:13

    Clean and decent laundry should be top priority in any hospital. How do these people live.....surely he likes clean sheets on his bed. Wonder if he was hospitalized if they put him a diry bed sheets in shreds and a hospital gown all torn and dity looking whether he would feel good. Wake up another person not capable of doing the job. A little while ago they showed us a chap who won a tender to supply clean laundry to hospital and he did'nt even own a washing machine, the ladies were washing the linen by hand. It only happens in africa.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-09-14 19:16

    you don't only neglect the laundry- this whole country is one big story of sad neglect. "The money was spent right - on tenders for buddies right?"

      JamesMWood - 2012-09-14 20:20

      Now its the hospitals bad management, passing the buck again, he should be playing rugby with his ball passing skills

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-14 21:11

    There is a thread here....Denial,Demand...Dhlomo all start with a D which epitomises the ANC and it's shocking cadre philosophy.Decline and Desperation!

  • Erna - 2012-09-14 21:54

    This is plain and simple gross mismanagement of resources by people who don't know how to manage a budget.

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-09-15 08:40

    Of course he denied it all first, and then, when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, confesses. The excuse being that "the department can only focus on one crisis at a time". Yee Gods! These guys couldn't find a piss up in a brewery, let alone clean laundry for hospitals. A better life for all? Pffffft!!

  • bless.boswell - 2012-09-15 09:20

    So there may be enough facilities for theatre linen, but what about the wards? Having been recently admitted to Helen Joseph's cardiac ward, I found a bare mattress and no pillows. But you should see the matron's office - its beautiful - oh so spiffy. I wonder how she lives with herself. The hospital is a disgrace.

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